Proteas aim to power through turbulent times

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South Africa vs India  

Freedom Series 

SuperSport Park
Sunday 26 December - Thursday 30 December 2021 
1st of three-match Betway Test series

South Africa will be eyeing the perfect start to their 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship (WTC) campaign with victory over India in the first of a three-match Betway Test series on Boxing Day at SuperSport Park. 
The New Year's Test will take place at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium before the teams fly down to Cape Town for the third and final match at Six Gun Grill Newlands in mid January. 

Anrich Nortje
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Bad headlines have dominated South African cricket over the past few years, but Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar says that he and his team will not use that as an excuse if they fail to beat India. 
“As a player’s group we’ve got used to bad news around us the last year and a half,” Elgar said on Tuesday. “It’s not ideal to have these headlines. We want to focus on our cricket, focus on playing a really tough series.” 

“You try to implement a game plan with these kinds of things and you have to be sincere and trust that game plan. What’s happened off the field, for me, is irrelevant now. As a player’s unit, we’ve been through such crappy times, we’ve actually formulated a good bond in the group.”
In India, South Africa will come to blows against the top ranked Test side in world cricket, but the Proteas have historically performed well against the Asian country and are yet to lose a home Test series to the world's most cricket-fanatic nation. 
"We want to go up the rankings, we are focused on cricket and hopefully cricket will look after us," Elgar added.

Quinton de Kock
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To add to the drama, the Proteas announced earlier this week that in-form fast bowler Anrich Nortje will play no part in the Betway Test series against India, due to a persistent injury. 
In his absence, Duanne Olivier is likely to make an official return to Test cricket with the hosts likely to go with a three-man pace attack while also relying on all-rounder Wiaan Mulder and spinner Keshav Maharaj for valuable overs. Olivier is the leading wicket-taker in the 2021/22 CSA four-day series with 28 wickets in four matches for the Imperial Lions.  
The Proteas are also set to be without wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock for the second and third Test with his wife expecting the birth of their child in early January. De Kock is South Africa's highest ranked Test batsman with quick Kagiso Rabada sixth on the bowling charts. 

Head-to-head record in Test matches since 1992:

Test matches: 39
South Africa wins: 15
India wins: 14
Draws: 10

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Published: 12/23/2021